Russian armed forces will be conducting three test launches of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this year, the country’s government-owned TASS news agency reported.
Sources told TASS that the launches would take place at the Plesetsk test site in northwestern Russia. A field at the Kura testing range in Kamchatka will serve as the target of the first launch.
“Three launches of the Sarmat ICBM will be carried out as part of flight development tests in 2021,” according to a source cited by the Russian outlet.
“The first launch of the Sarmat ICBM within the framework of flight development tests will be carried out tentatively in the third quarter of 2021,” another source stated.
Although the exact target locations of the other two missiles were not disclosed, it was revealed that one of them will be fired at its maximum range of 18,000 kilometers (11,184 miles).
Sarmat ICBM as Replacement for R-36M2 Voevoda Missiles
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the new ballistic missile has greater capabilities than the R-36M2 Voevoda Missiles, which have been operational for five decades.
The new missile weighs 208 tons with a payload close to 10 tons and a fuel capacity of 178 tons.
The Sarmat is also reportedly able to counter missile defenses and features an engine designed to propel the missile at a speed of 24,000 kilometers per hour (14,912 miles per hour) and make it invulnerable for any kind of defense.
The weapon is set to be deployed in Krasnoyarsk in 2022, Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces Sergei Karakaev said.
Russia Continuing to Strengthen Firepower
Last month, Russia announced that a third station equipped with stealth aircraft and hypersonic threat detection capability will be operational in the Arctic by June.
Rezonans Science and Research Center Director General Alexander Shramchenko said the country plans to put into operation two more such stations in Gremial and Zapolyarnoye.
Heavy strike drone Okhotnik will also be ready for deployment by 2024. “These planes and drones can interact not only with each other but also in various types of combat formations,” Andrey Yelchaninov stated.